This Is Our House! - The Tax Man Comes to College Sports

34 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2018 Last revised: 19 May 2019


On December 22, 2017 President Trump signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Prior to January 1, 2018, college athletics had historically enjoyed favorable federal tax treatment due to the tax-exempt status of universities, athletic departments, and the NCAA. However, following the TCJA's implementation college sports took a direct tax hit for the first time in almost thirty years. Amid the mounting legal issues now enveloping college athletics, colleges and universities must also prepare for the financial impact that the TCJA could have on their athletic programs moving forward. This article (I) provides a history of the big business of college sports and early efforts to impose federal taxation on the industry, (II) reviews the applicable TCJA sections that may have a direct or indirect effect on U.S. college athletics, and (III) concludes that universities and their athletic departments must begin to account for and strategize plans to protect themselves from the financial impact of the TCJA.

Keywords: college, sports, NCAA, tax, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, TCJA, athletic departments, tax-exempt, IRS. excise tax, college coaches, priority seating, college athletic events

Suggested Citation

Kisska-Schulze, Kathryn, This Is Our House! - The Tax Man Comes to College Sports. 29 Marquette Sports Law Review 2 (2019). Available at SSRN:

Kathryn Kisska-Schulze (Contact Author)

Clemson University College of Business ( email )

Clemson, SC 29631
United States

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics